30 Aug WE Serve – Hurricane Harvey
Having just lived through Hurricane Matthew last fall, we all find it heartbreaking to watch yet another storm wreak so much havoc and disrupt so many lives. Our hearts and prayers go to all those in Texas and Louisiana who remain stranded or in harm’s way. Our gratitude goes to all those who continue to act heroically to save lives.
Obviously, from a distance there is not much that we can do until the storm clears. Given the extent of the devastation, first responders and other trained professionals will be leading the effort over the next few weeks. Given my experience with the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, opportunities for out-of-state volunteers to assist folks in cleaning out their homes will probably not begin to take shape until late September. The rebuilding phase, which I estimate to be a 5+ year process given the number of homes damaged, will not begin in earnest for another 60-90 days.
I have been in touch with a former student, Rev. Andrew Wolfe, who now serves on the staff at St. Paul’s UMC in downtown Houston. At this point, he is asking for our help in the following ways:
First, our prayers. Let us continue to keep those who have been affected in our prayers. Let us also pray for the safety of the first responders, police officers, National Guard, fire and EMS personnel who are working long hours in an extremely challenging environment. Lastly, let us pray for good weather and the rain to cease as soon as possible.
Second, our financial support. Over the next few weeks I invite you to donate money that will be used to purchase $25 gift cards. These cards (most likely Walmart or some other widely available chain) will be mailed directly to UM pastors serving in the affected areas for distribution. If you would like to write a note of personal encouragement, please drop them off by the church and we will include them with the batch(es) of cards that we mail. Feel free to use our online Give to WE link or make checks payable to “WEUMC fbo Harvey Relief.” We will continue collecting funds through the end of September.
Third, our time. I have blocked out the week of 10.23.17 for a possible trip with volunteers to assist. If you are interested in joining me, please email me. I would hope that we could take a couple of van loads from the Beaufort area.
As we learn more about the ways that we might help here in SC, I will let you know. Please help me spread the word…to those within and outside WE.
Grace and peace always, lane
Rev. Lane Glaze